Climate talks extended as negotiators fail to break logjam

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Lima | Published: December 13, 2014 5:40:45 PM

Crucial UN climate talks ran into extra time as negotiators from more than 190 countries, including India, today struggled to break a deadlock...

Crucial UN climate talks ran into extra time as negotiators from more than 190 countries, including India, today struggled to break a deadlock between rich and developing countries to agree on a draft text of a new binding agreement to cut global carbon emissions.

The negotiators, who have been in the Peruvian capital for about two weeks, are grappling to prepare the elements of the draft due to the logjam between developing countries and industrialised nations that haggle over the formula of sharing the burden for cutting emissions, and who should pay.

Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who presides over the talks, was seemingly frustrated by the lack of progress and called for constructive exchanges.

Vadal said, “We don’t want to leave Lima with empty hands… We are in a time in which we should take decisions.”

“We are almost there. We just need to make a final effort. Finding a solution would be a way to show to the world that we are building this process step by step,” he said.

Parties were given 30 minutes to look over the five-page draft but after several countries demanded more time to review, the co-chairs decided reconvene at 1500 GMT.

The climate talks are aiming to establish the draft text of a new agreement that will be signed by all countries at the next major talks in Paris in 2015 and take effect by 2020.

India is demanding that the key issue of adaptation must be fully reflected in the new climate agreement and developed nations should give enough carbon space to developing nations to achieve sustainable growth.

A major concern of the co-chairs is that ministers have already left the conference and the negotiations are at a “crucial juncture.” The co-chairs have encouraged parties to “reach beyond the boards beyond your own group” in their review of the draft text.

The current draft of the text regarding the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) is mitigation- centric once again.

Developed countries were not ready to make financial or technology sharing commitments and so the financial portion of the current draft is weaker than previous versions.

There is also no reference to the loss and damage provision for which least developed countries and small island developing states had urged.

Also absent is any reference to common but differentiated responsibility or long term financial commitments.

Of particular interest to India is also the section on an ex-ante review process of the INDCs. The section indicates that “sovereignty” should be guarded and will apply only to “parties willing to do so”.

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